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. >> it's timed with the country hitting the fiscal cliff, $500 billion of tax increases and spending cuts. scheduled to take effect in january. ill led to the super committee to create work out cuts of $1.# trillion. on defense, 9.4% cut for every program across the board regardless of merit. in 2013 trimming $3.9 billion from defense operation and maintenance. air force and navy would be cut by $4.2 billion. afghan security forces chopped by $1.3 billion. and embassy money and consulate would lose $1.2 billion. asked about the spending cut deal, the top democrats suggested they're finished. >> that is part of a big bold and balanced package that has big cuts. we voted for $1 trillion in cuts. revenues are needed and job creation is essential to reduce deficit. >> today, pelosi clarified she was not referring to the sequester. unless there is action in a hurry, there is a risk national security could be affected in what is a takous world. >> i'm worried because the only part of the federal government that obama administration appears to be willing to cut is the defense department. >> educ
doors and figure how they get past january and how they avoid this fiscal cliff, not only the spending cuts and tax increases but spending cuts particularly in defense. they don't want that. >> explain why what they agree on -- namely that the middle class, 98% of all taxpayers, that their taxes will stay the same, they will not go up. if everyone agrees at least on that, the president says, go ahead and pass that. why not just eliminate the 98% who won't have any changes, those making under $250,000? why not allow that to go forward? why are the republicans resisting on that. >> it could wind up there, wolf. but if the republicans lose that, they believe they kind of lose the leverage that they have. if they sort of give on that, then where's their leverage with the white house? so i think that in the end, wolf, if i had to bet -- and i don't like to bet on these things because they always disappoint -- but i would have to say that the one thing they are all likely to do at some point is to make sure the taxes do not go up on the middle class. but in order to do that, republicans want
ourselves about to go off the fiscal cliff with the automatic spending cuts, in part is because back in 2011, they wanted to raise the debt ceiling and the republicans said you cannot do it unless we do spending cuts. we cannot just do deficit spending. so they agree, they cut this deal, now the democrats are going to the republicans and saying, forget that. let's just in the position to get rid of it. what on earth would make them think that republicans would agree to that? >> because the president thinks he has a mandate from the whole country. he thinks he can get anything he wants. i am sure that alan colmes loves this idea. here are the problems. the congress has the authority to authorize the debt. they also have the authority to authorize the bill that pays the debt. so now the president wants to take that away. this guy has shown a tendency to say that i don't need congress. i can pass laws with a stroke of a pen on executive orders. he doesn't need the supreme court because he declares laws unconstitutional, like doma. he says he wants an unlimited credit card, and you all will have
the so-called fiscal cliff. that steep across the board spending cut and tax increase scheduled to hit in just 33 days. in a scathing assessment today, the speaker of the house john boehner says there's been no substantive progress on a deal. need to realize there can be no deal without tax rates going up for top earners. let's go live to our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin. she's got more on the latest developments. tough talk from both sides, jessica. >> reporter: tough talk and some bright lines, wolf. on the same day that treasury secretary tim geithner went to capitol hill to meet with both democrats and republicans to talk about these negotiations, there is tense body language and tough words on both sides of pennsylvania avenue. they're starting to sound dug-in on capitol hill. >> all eyes are on the white house. the country doesn't need a victory lap. it needs leadership. >> reporter: at the white house. >> this is available not just here but to everyone in the world who has an internet connection. and i know things are done the old fashioned way sometimes on cap
is the federal government spending under control. we continue to get closer to this incredible fiscal cliff and i think that the president should take a case study analysis and look at what president coolidge did and jfk, john f. kennedy when they went in and lowered tax rates and increased revenues, which is exactly what we're talking about. >> so either you've got a president who is tremendously overconfident after being reelected or someone who asks for the sty in the first offer knowing that he will look like the compromising once he gives in on the demands and gets himself involved in negotiations. >> both sides are waiting to see who is going to offer up the plan first, we're waiting on the white house. >> it's the president's job, isn't it? congress controls the purse strings and the white house is waiting for-- we're waiting for something from congress on their side and go back and forth, who puts up the offer first and it's the first salvo, so, michigan mcconnell laughs at it and timothy geithner hands it to them. this isn't real. >> i didn't know that first was the first offer. we have
discussion about the, quote, fiscal cliff, when the president is talking about spending more, particularly when you look at the information coming out on how they spent the solar money, it's a scandal, how many billions of dollars they misapplied to lost causes, and how many people got rich out of government guarantees promptly cashing out as soon as they got the money. i think congress ought to slow down, have a lot more hearings and a lot more markups, and produce a number of separate small bills, and then let the senate democrats do they really want to go into 2014 as the obstructioniness senate or take up positive legislation and get something done. >> greta: quote, we don't need a surrender caucus, a shot at the senate republicans that they were giving in. if they take your advice, they have three or four weeks left before they hit the so-called sequestration or fiscal cliff. are you suggesting we go over it? >> first of all, there's no sign that speaker boehner is backing down. what i said in general to both house and senate republicans, to some of the members who had this attitude,
moments, a discussion of house spending cuts in the so-called fiscal cliff. in a little less than an hour, more about the fiscal cliff with republican representative tom cole from oklahoma. then the head of fema testifies on capitol hill about the government's response to hurricane sandy. and later, senate debate on the u.n. treaty for the disabled. ♪ ♪ >> this weekend on c-span3's american history tv, follow harry truman easeleddest grandson to hiroshima as the city prepared to mark the bombing of the city in 1945. >> you know, everybody has their own view what happened, and i, i don't, i don't want to argue survival with anyone in japan about the history. i think we're past that. my whole purpose for being here is to listen, to honor the dead, to listen to the living and to see -- to do what i can to see this doesn't happen again. >> clifton truman daniel will join us sunday at 9 p.m. eastern on c-span3. >> now, a discussion of how the military and national security might be affected by spending cuts scheduled to take effect the first of the year. part of the so-called fiscal cliff.
leadership says he thinks president obama wants to go over the fiscal cliff by proposing higher taxes, no spending cuts and no plans to save entitlements. with president obama going to pennsylvania today, the house republican whip, kevin mccarthy's office put out a video profiling a small business nearby in pennsylvania that would get hurt by a tax hike. >> i'm jerry gorsky from an engineering company. however good or bad we do is my income. this notion of $250,000 being top 2% or the wealthy people in america ignores the way most small businesses work in america. >> reporter: i mentioned president obama is going out on the trail, if you will in pennsylvania to sell his arguments. one would expect we would hear some sort of response from speaker john boehner after that. jon. jon: what are the democrats saying? i mean about these g.o.p. complaints? what is your response? >> reporter: they are saying republicans if you don't like the president's plan, where is your own plan? they are asking for specifics on revenue in terms of tax revenue. they are also asking for specifics on what repu
. the fiscal cliff is almost $8 trillion of spending cuts, revenue increases. which if you want to affect the debt, that's a big way of doing it. every economist says if you do that much that quickly, you are going to throw us back into a serious recession. you know what? at some point, we have to stop kicking the can down the road and actually thinking of long-term debt of this country. i'm never a big fan of senator cobern's positions but he's right. at some point we have to stop this. we need to do it quickly. >> and the fact is, we've got a huge spending problem. and so either you have to figure out a way to pay for what you say you want to do or reduce the spending and that's the piece that's not getting the attention it should right now. >> getting the attention from? >> either the media in some cases. they are talking about what we have to do on taxes. somewhere along the line we have to talk about what we have to do on spending. if you do as the president asks and that is raise taxes on the top 2%, it funds the government for 8 days. you can't get there with just that. they are sa
of how we fix our national deficit. as you well know, we face the fiscal cliff, a series of tax hikes and spending cuts that many people think if they go into effect will put the country into recession. yet we heard the treasury secretary tim geithner say the president is willing to see the country go off the fiscal cliff if republicans do not accede to his demands. >> it's probably pretty real. but you can't get to where we need to go by cutting spending, that won't cut it. you're going to destroy a fragile economy. you can't get there by taxing your way into it and you can't grow your way out of this. you have to have a blend. when you have leaders of parties and people from the administration saying i think it will be to the advantage of the democrats to go off the cliff or i think it will be advantage to the republicans to go off the cliff or the president to go off the cliff, that's like betting your country. there's stupidity involved in that. this is big-time stuff. >> let me ask you about a report that some republicans now are perhaps willing to see the tax rates rise to some
: telling agencies to watch for massive spending cuts from going over the fiscal cliff and warped the business exectives the economy could take another hit if the republicans decide to extend the middle class tax cut to avoid the cliff for now. then come back with more leverage. to tie it to a hike in the debt ceiling. >> we are 23409 going play that game next year. if congress in any way suggests that they are going to tie negotiations to debt ceiling votes, take us to brink of default again, i will not play that game. >> republicans held their own meeting with small business owners denying they're trying to punt. >> i'll be here and available at any moment to sit down with the president to get serious abouting the problem. >> they noted the president has not scheduled any meetings with the g.o.p. leaders in weeks. not offered any counterproposal to boehner's plan from last week. >> a balanced approach the president has been asking for. now we need response from the white house. >> reporter: they continue to insist the impediment to the deal is boehner's tax revenue is not enough
, we're in this situation because congress came up with what they're calling the fiscal cliff now and they're calling it the fiscal cliff because they don't want to e embrace either the tax increases or spending cuts and i think it's foolish to think this congress can come up with a better deal. >> you know what's interesting, to eric's point, there is a great irony in this that the democrats are saying we've got to raise taxes and the fiscal cliff does both. just not in the way anybody wants it, so if they can't do that, how are they going to find a way they can all agree on? >> the superfailed committee. this is a giant hatchet as opposed to a scalpel. >> it was designed to fail. >> i agree, but the real solution and real irony is going to be the ultimate deal's going to look like the obama boehner grand bargain that was negotiated and almost done in the summer of 2011. the fact that we couldn't make that deal then i think's a tragedy for the country. one of the thing's it did was lead to that aaa downgrading. that was unnecessary. >> let me just follow up on this point of what
in washington. speak up for the fiscal cliff is part of the half trillion dollars in cuts to the pentagon. the defense has been saying we will not plan for sequestration's because they don't want to be cautious because it is like a gun to the head. they're now looking into planning for this because we are getting pretty late, and that may become a reality. back to you. melissa: rich edson, thank you so much. lori: let's continue this discussion. it is going to happen, it is exactly what the democrats want. according to scott hodge of the tax foundation. what are some alternatives to raising revenue? joining me with some ideas. to your point, you're written quite extensively on this topic. it seems the economy is poised to fall off the cliff and that's what the democrats and the president wants to happen. >> they want to allow all the bush tax cuts to expire. it happens naturally automatically. they don't even have to vote for it. in january we had to lower taxes for everybody. getting it very simply. lori: a lot of people are concerned. if we do go over the cliff, there's no resolution fo
to zoraida sambolin for an update on the day's top stories. >> soledad, the fiscal cliff debacle, with 28 days remaining before drastic tax hikes and spending cuts take effect, a republican spending plan has been rejected by the white house. brianna keilar is live from washington. what now, brianna? >> well, right now it's about the pressure building and the clock kicking, zoraida. as house republicans in the white house try to ultimately broker a deal between two very different plans. house speaker john boehner's counteroffer, if you take a look at the headlines from this $800 billion in what would be savings from tax reform. so that is new tax revenue. but not done by increasing income tax rate on the wealthiest. but instead by closing tax loopholes, eliminating tax credits. and also $600 billion in health savings. that's what you'd get from entitlement reform. from reforming medicare, and doing some cuts there under this plan. but compare it to the white house plan, very different than what's on the table there. $1.6 trillion in new taxes. that is two times the amount in the boehner pl
in the deadlocked talks to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, the devastating combinations of tax increase and spending cuts that kick in january 1st. both sides seem to dig in this morning on the sunday talk shows. >> the only thing standing in the way of that would be a refusal by republicans that the rates would have to go up on the wealthiest americans, and i don't really see them doing it. >> right now, i would say we're nowhere, period, we're nowhere. >> that somber assessment today from house speaker john boehner, as geithner, the point man, went on all five sunday talk shows, cnbc, washington correspondent aman javers joining me live now. did geithner offer anything new today? >> he really didn't. he thinks the republicans are bluffing here and they are not prepared to go all the way to the mat here on behalf of tax cuts for the rich. they think at the white house they've got their republicans backed into a political corner here, and they are really pressing their advantage hard. you saw this sort of breathtaking offer by the president of the united states last week when he offered
with a plan on how he wants to avert the fiscal cliff. it is irresponsible of us not to deal with the spending issue and simply to push for raising taxes on hard-working american people. many of us come from small- business backgrounds -- family owned businesses. we understand the situation very well. but it isn't -- it is important we not pass this problem along to our children and grandchildren, but we deal with it in a responsible way. the republicans have come forward with a responsible plan and will continue to do that and look for ways to keep us from going over this fiscal cliff. >> we have time for a couple questions before we go to our meeting. >> your colleague has told other colleagues that it is time to vote to extend the middle-class tax cut -- i want to get your take on his comments. more importantly, is this the direction the conference is going? >> i told tom earlier that i disagree with him. he is a wonderful friend and a great supporter of mine, but raising taxes on the so-called top 2%, half as taxpayers are small business owners who pay their taxes with personal income tax
and where it fits in with the fiscal cliff. what we will spend money on and how we were tightened our belts. >> the major place it fits is the right policy would create an environment which would produce a lot more revenue. that would help to reduce the debt. the federal government doesn't spend much money on energy. energy research is about $6 billion a year. i would like to see it doubled. this report is a blueprint for independence and i think it is the right blueprint. we are not in a position to be held hostage by anybody. it also focuses on find more and use less. what we can do in the federal government is i think invest in research and getting a 500-mile battery for electric cars and getting solar energy that is 1 kilowatt installed and finding a way to capture carbon from coal plants that can be turned into fuel that is commercially sold. we should look at the model of unconventional gas in terms of how our system and federal research and our system of private properties have produced a situation where we have a massive advantage over europe and asia in terms of our natural gas. it
's the first part of the fiscal cliff. the second part of it is the spending decrease that this congress and the president agreed to the last summer to say we dramatically increase spending, we have to reduce that spending. that spending decrease that was agreed to had a deadline by the end of this year. if there didn't there would be across the board cuts. the house passed our spending decreases in may. the senate has yet to pass any. with that we're stuck with across-the-board cuts that will be in early january. and the tax rate for all americans. in 2001 and 2003 and then extended during the lame duck of 2010, every americans' tax rates were extended out to expire the 31st of december. every tax rate from the lowest to the highest is set to go up. some people see the problem is we're not taxing enough and so that solves the problem. to just go off the fiscal cliff and everyone will be taxed more. some say we don't take from some group and give to the other. some say go to the clinton tax rate. we had a booming economy and creating more jobs. if increasing taxes increases economic acti
over the fight in the fiscal cliff. americans face crushing tax hikes and severe spending cuts in 27 days if democrats and republicans cannot come together on a deal. by the way, congress breaks for the holidays in ten days. slash that number. in an interview with bloomberg news, the president made it crystal clear he's not about to blink on the issue of tax hikes for the wealthiest americans. >> we'll have to see the rates on the top 2% go up. and we're not going to be able to get a deal without it. >> white house correspondent dan lothian joins us live from washington this morning. very nice to see you, dan. >> good to see you. >> here's the deal. we have republicans pitted against democrats. now we understand there are issues amongst republicans as well. >> that's right. they're in a tough spot here. they don't want to be in left in a position of being blamed for the fiscal cliff. you're seeing a division between house members and senate members. the reason for this is mainly over the 800 billion in new tax revenue. this was part of john boehner and plan. those tea party-backed co
and the so-called cliff, fiscal cliff, he also wants to deal with raising the debt ceiling which caused so much controversy a year and a half ago. take a listen to the president today. >> if congress in any way suggests they are going to tie negotiations to debt ceiling votes, and take us to the brink of default once again, as part of a budget negotiation which by the way we have never done in our history until we did it last year, i will not play that game. >> now, republics may not want to include the debt ceiling extension lifting that ceiling in these negotiations because the ceiling doesn't need to be lifted for a couple more months. if they come back next year and deal with that part of this, they might have more leverage as we get closer and closer to that deadline to force the president into more spending cuts than he wants right now, harris. >> harris: well, editor all those americans wondering and watching rights now, 27 days, how close are we. we heard the speaker say he is waiting to hear back from the white house. i would think that would be in the form of a counter offer from
the so-called fiscal cliff, but as the clock ticks down to mandatory spending cuts and tax hikes, negotiations to reach a deal look like they are at a standstill. and now, live to washington with the latest. steve? >> that deadline for action could be fast approaching but the two sides do not appear to be in a hurry, instead of negotiating a deal the players spent their unsunday in -- sundy taking their views to the public. speaker boehner appeared on fox news sunday expressing his surprise when geithner laid out the white house plan of action, calling for a new revenue and stimulus spending. >> i was flabbergasted. i have never seen anything like it. we have several weeks between election day and the end of the year and three of those weeks have been wasted with this nonsense. >> for his part, secretary geithner saying the ball is new in the g.o.p.'s court and he says the administration is ready to move forward if republicans agree to raise taxes on wealthy americans and specify their own demands for reducing government spending and he defended the plan that speaker boehner says
of avoiding tough choices on spending and wasting time in the effort to avoid the fiscal cliff. >> it's not a serious proposal. and so right now, we're almost nowhere. >> will there be a deal by the end of the year? and what are the consequences for the economy if there isn't one? we'll ask the president's lead budget negotiator, treasury secretary tim geithner. >>> then the view from capitol hill. are democrats as divided over cutting medicare as republicans are over tax increases? with us, two voices calling for compromise. republican senator bob corker of tennessee and democratic senator claire mccaskill of missouri. >>> finally, our special economic roundtable. as both sides battle over the nation's fiscal health, what can we expect from the economy in a second obama term? what is the vision for an economic rebound? >>> from nbc news in washington, the world's longest-running television program, this is "meet the press" with david gregory. >>> and good sunday morning. amidst a lot of partisan rhetoric on both sides, talks on the fiscal cliff are now at a stand still, and the presi
the fiscal cliff prospect is the commendation of tax increases and spending cuts across the board and how they would have negative impacts. so we need to do it in a smart way. even as we find savings, we need to make targeted investments and we need to do things that help our economy and the long-term. >> [inaudible question] >> it is not specifically designed for that. it is the president's broader approach this. significant savings need to be where we can get them, a trillion plus in the budget control act, an additional $600 billion in savings but ford is part of the proposal. and also revenues from the wealthiest 2%, coupled to make the economy grow. it is stronger growth, stronger job creation. as a principle, deficit reduction done well and done right is positive for the economy. >> on the subject of israel, in the last few weeks, you asked about -- [inaudible] [inaudible question] the u.s. has been very steadfast to stand by israel. i'm wondering in light of that, are there any statements that have gone out in regards to what the president has done to express this and what the isra
, the white house is preparing in case the country does go over that fiscal cliff, budget officials have asked all federal agencies for information that they need in case of possible plans in case of those automatic spending cuts that could go in place in just 27 days. >> peter alexander at the white house for us tonight. thank you. >>> and up next, the loss today of a legend in american music. i put away money. i was 21, so i said, "hmm, i want to retire at 55." and before you know it, i'm 58 years old. time went by very fast. it goes by too, too fast. ♪ but i would do it again in a heartbeat. [ laughs ] ♪ ♪ i took my son fishing every year. we had a great spot, not easy to find, but worth it. but with copd making it hard to breathe, i thought those days might be over. so my doctor prescribed symbicort. it helps significantly improve my lung function starting within five minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. with symbicort, today i'm breathing better. and that means...fish on! symbicort is for copd including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should
to hammer out a deal over tax hikes and spending cuts as the clock particulars towards that fiscal cliff deadline on january 11. mike emanuel is live. we are still getting hard lines from either side about where they stand on this. what is really happening behind the closed doors? are they closer to a dole? >> reporter: jenna you're right about a lot of tough talk in public, but behind closed doors we know the president, the speaker of the house john boehner had a phone call late yesterday, the first call they had in a week. there has not been much in the way of leaks as to what was discussed. most folks on capitol hill may suggest that no leaks means they are getting down to serious movement on finding a compromise to avert the fiscal cliff. because in public the treasury secretary was asked yesterday if the administration is prepared to go over the fiscal cliff. check this out. >> is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff. >> absolutely. we see no prospects for an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthist. remember it's only 2%.
, we should actually have them not leave washington until they fix the fiscal cliff. at least let's fix the fiscal cliff and make sure that american families aren't faced with possible larger tax bills come january. >> wouldn't it just make you feel better if you didn't feel the real reason we'll get a fiscal cliff resolution, whether it's a little tinkering or something bigger, wasn't because they actually wanted to be home on christmas? >> i think that they absolutely should try to get this done. i certainly don't think they should go home before the situation is resolved. but i also think that when you are looking at what kind of congress we want, we want a responsive congress. we want a congress rooted in american communities, not inside the beltway. >> look, you just want mondays and fridays off, too, and your trying to make the argument to the national review as to why that is better. >> americans want their leaders to work, period. >> thanks to both of you. we appreciate it. of course, we want all your feedback. >>> next, the billionaire software tycoon john mcafee is wanted in t
and we're starting this hour with the wrangling on capitol hill over the fiscal cliff. we're just 31 days until the deadline which could potentially trigger $7 trillion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases. both republicans and democrats are at a standoff. they are each blaming the other side for holding up the process, but republican congressman terry lee says that by going over the cliff the president may have an ulterior motive. >> many of us fear that the president's real plan here was to let us go over the cliff and blame the republicans, and that's what we look like we're being set up to do, and then if you go over the cliff, then two months later, a month later, the president can come back with a bill and say, hey, we're going to now since the republicans let everyone's taxes go up, i'm going to ride in here now and be the -- the knight in shining armor and lower the taxes on the lower two brackets. >> it is a case that is sparking painful reminders of trayvon martin, another florida teenager shot to death in an incident that has racial overtones. i'm talking about jordan d
the deadline for the so-calleded fiscal cliff. the drama is building. check out what house speaker, john boehner, had to say this week. >> the white house spends three weeks of trying to develop a proposal that calls for $1.6 trillion in new taxes, calls for a little, not even $400 billion in cuts and they want to have this extra spending that's actually greater than the amount they are willing to cut. it was not a serious proposal. right now, we are almost nowhere. >> oh, mr. boehner, you have got it all wrong. it is a serious proposal, really serious. godfather serious. >>> watching the d.c. drama convinced those of us in nerdland that president obama must be a fan of the francis ford copel la masterpiece. remove the lethal components and there are valuable negotiating lessons that the president seems to be picking up on, like this one. >> my father taught me many things here. he taught me in this room. he caught me keep your friends close but your enemies closer. >> well, president obama keeping his opponents close in hand. lunch with mitt romney. a mid-week summit with the business l
. >> reporter: and secretary panetta has warned the fiscal cliff would hurt our national defense. he's expected to hold a news conference any minute now. he's getting the order from the white house to brace for massive budget cut us. now, the automatic spending cuts that would kick in if congress does not reach an agreement on the fiscal cliff would force the pentagon to slice about 10% of the budget. the defense industry projects one in five defense contracts in california would be lost. the aerospace industry is projecting that 135,000 department jobs would be cut along with 90,000 jobs for a total of about 225,000 jobs lost in california over the next few years. alison burns, ktvu channel 2 news. >>> 8:16. well, today will mark the 9 oth annual lighting of the national christmas tree. president obama and his family, they will flip a switch lighting that tree this evening. neil patrick harris, remember doogie howser? he will be hosting the event. james taylor and the fray will be among the group of perform. president calvin coolidge started this tradition back in 1923. >>> well, free flu shou
. but if there's no deal and the country goes over that fiscal cliff, taxes go up for everyone, mandatory spending cuts go into effect, a lot of folks are going to say where was the president? he was just re-elected. why couldn't he put together a package, a deal to avoid this disaster? >> i think this is a question of political leadership. and as that poll showed, there's no doubt that the president has the political advantage going into this. but at some point, and i think we're kind of getting close to it, the president has to be able to pivot and to say how do i turn this political advantage into a real policy accomplishment? and, wolf, i don't think you're going to do that with continued campaign style events like we just saw meeting with middle class families. okay. we get that. that occurred during the campaign. the white house has clearly gotten its message out. i think now there has to be a next step. you know, timing is everything in politics. and this is absolutely no different. what i'm getting from talking to some democrats on the hill is i think there's actually a lot of pen
months of hearing about the fiscal cliff, there are no signs of a compromise plan. let's bring in senior congressional correspondent miss dana bash. dana? republicans say president obama's opening offer is, you know, all take and no give here. do they feel like the president is wasting their time? >> reporter: yes. they do. and, you know, a lot of times when we see this kind of toing and froing in public, don, it masks what is really going on behind the scenes, which is real negotiating. so i asked that question of john boehner, who has been through this kind of negotiating many, many times over many years, if that's what we're seeing or if we're at a stalemate. listen to this . the past 24 hours, is this the necessary public posturing that needs to go on to get an endgame or is there serious stalemate right now? >> there is a stalemate. let's not kid ourselves. i'm not trying to make this more difficult, but if you watched me over the last three weeks, i've been very girded in what i have to say because i don't want to make it harder for me or the president or members of both parties to
hill as the fiscal cliff looms now just 32 days away. house speaker john boehner says no progress has been made in two weeks of talks, and republicans want the white house to come up with significant spending cuts. senate democratic leader harry reid responded to boehner saying, quote, i don't understand his brain, unquote. >>> when those talks over the fiscal cliff seem to be heading towards a stalemate but do the capitol hill theatrics tell the whole story? here's thousand politico summed it up, listen to top democrats and republicans talk on camera and it sounds like they could not be further apart. but behind the scenes top officials who have been involved in the talks for many months say the contours of the deal are starting to take shape. well, joining me are jason johnson a political professor, t and a republican strategist ron bonjene, ron, let's start with you, both sides know they'll have to make a deal. one congressman says to get it there has to look like this was fighting this way it's kind of like managing the public's expectati expectations, oh, we didn't give anything,
as part of a balanced approach to deficit reduction and the fiscal cliff. he will not accept a deal that has specific cuts in spending, in entitlement programs that asks middle class americans, seniors who need loans, disabled children to pay a price on the one hand, and the promise, the vague promise, the unspecified promise of a revenue that appears from wealthier americans in the future. that's not a deal the president will not sign. >> i understand the process and what the white house is looking for from republicans, but i'm asking about the president's position. a yes-or-no question. his position that the tax rate has to go to 39.6% on january 1. >> he will not sign the bush tax cuts for wealthy americans. they have rates for top earners at 35%. if you don't sign it, it's up to 39.6 #, the top rate. that's a fact. secondly, he has not seen a single proposal or acknowledgement that a proposal is necessary or will be forthcoming from republicans that even it would be part of the balanced deal. we are now where we are in december, and we need congress, republican leaders in congre
by spending cuts at the first of the year. part of the so-called fiscal cliff. former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, mike mike mullen, was joined at how services committee. this is a less than an hour. >> good afternoon. thank you for coming. my name is peter peterson. i would like to give you a review of why we are supporting this project today. starting about 30 years ago, after studying the profound demographic trends, on the vast and unfunded promise we have made. i have decided was not unsustainable, but a primary threat to the future. speaking of unsustainable, in the nixon white house in which i served, the chairman of the council, if something is unsustainable, he says it continues to stop. or if you don't like that, if your worst eyes, i suggest that you does not dismount. in lieu of that retirement, i decided to set up the foundation to increase awareness of long-term debts and get solutions. never in my experience have these things are more closely linked, in the words of mike mullen. we are endlessly reminded that everything must be on the table, including defense, which
right now. >>> our country will be heading over the fiscal cliff that we ourselves dug and put in our way. it's the set of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes that can only be averted if our nation's leaders are able to display bear bones competence and middle school-level maturity. so is there a deal? >> there's, of course, no deal. >> of course! is there a prospect for a deal? >> there's not a prospect for a deal. >> of course! but the ongoing talks. >> there aren't even very many talks going on. >> you're killing us! give us something. >> but for the first time, there are numbers on pieces of paper from both sides. >> numbers on paper! >>> good morning. it's wednesday, december 5th. welcome to "morning joe." live in the nation's capital. this is exciting. and you know, i said, let's do a show from washington, d.c., because they get so much stuff done there. it's like silicon valley. and going there when steve jobs was really bringing apple to the forefront -- >> a happening place. >> it is. it's where things happen. that's why we're here, steve rattner. >> washington is the place
to see us go over the fiscal cliff, but feel very strongly we've got to get serious here. we don't want to increase tax rates. we're not going to increase tax rates. and we want to do something about the spending problem. and remember, the good will, the piece that is, i think, determinive here, the speaker's put new revenues on the table just after the election and said we get it. the president won his re- election. we won ours. we have to now come together. here is our proposal to the speaker -- to the president that we were unwilling to give a year and a half ago. >> they know they need to put revenant on the table, but will you come back and give them the entitlement cuts? >> we will take this as a serious matter. this is not a game. we are interested in trying to solve the problem for the american people so that we do not see taxes go up on anybody, so we can engage in reform, get the economy going again. we're not playing a game. that offer yesterday was not serious. thank you. >> this is about 20 minutes. >> good afternoon. i'm here today with my colleague. i invited him here to
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